Playing for draw against Scots is too risky, says Toni

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FLORENCE, Italy, Nov 14 (Reuters) Striker Luca Toni has said it would be a mistake for Italy to play for a draw in Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier in Scotland.

A point will suffice for the world champions in Glasgow, as long as they win their final qualifier at home to Group B bottom team the Faroe Islands four days later.

Defeat would mean Italy, who are one point behind Scotland and two behind leaders France, would have to win against the Faroes and hope Ukraine beat France at home on the same night to go through.

''Taking the field looking for a draw would mean that you risk losing the game,'' Bayern Munich forward Toni told reporters at Italy's training camp near Florence today.

''We know that two years of work will be at stake in those 90 minutes of play. I don't even want to consider the possibility of not reaching the European championships.'' Toni believed the trouble caused by the shooting dead of a Lazio fan by a police officer on Sunday would not affect the Azzurri's performance.

''We are in a fine mess, but on the field it will be 11 against 11 and we know we can't afford to lose.'' AS Roma defender Christian Panucci is expecting fired-up opposition.

''They will be devil possessed but we want to qualify and we are ready to play for it,'' he said.

REUTERS SSC VC2146

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